In the past few years conventional exploration drilling has been on a rocky road, dropping from 3000 exploration wells drilled in 2012 down to just 900 wells in 2016 – a whopping 70% decrease. Exploration has been constrained not only by lower oil prices, but also other major shakeups in the hydrocarbon industry such as the shale revolution in the US.
As a consequence of low exploration activity, discovered resources have been insufficient to replace produced resources. The past decade has seen an immense drop in discovered liquid volumes from 29 billion barrels discovered in 2010, bottoming out at 4 billion barrels discovered in 2016.
Looking ahead, Rystad Energy sees investments both in offshore and onshore exploration drilling doubling in the next five years, compared to the last five years. Conventional onshore demand will be driven by Asia, Africa and South America. Europe on the other hand, will be a hot spot for offshore exploration, led by investments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
VP Oilfield Service Research
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Rystad Energy is an independent energy research and business intelligence company providing data, tools, analytics and consultancy services to the global energy industry. Our products and services cover energy fundamentals and the global and regional upstream, oilfield services and renewable energy industries, tailored to analysts, managers and executives alike. Rystad Energy’s headquarters are located in Oslo, Norway with offices in London, New York, Houston, Stavanger, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Bangalore, Tokyo, Sydney and Dubai.